Actor David Keith to Lead Gatlinburg Parade
For the 34th consecutive year, Gatlinburg kicks off America's Independence Day celebration with the nation's first parade, which leads off at 12 a.m. on Saturday, July 4, to the cheers of close to 100,000 spectators and features a special tribute to our four branches of military service among the many highlights of this one-of-a-kind patriotic event.
In recognition of the 75th Anniversary of the establishment of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, as well as the birthday of our Country on July 4, the City of Gatlinburg will recreate the September 2, 1940, Presidential Motorcade of Franklin D. Roosevelt as it traveled through Gatlinburg on its way to Newfound Gap. There, perched high above a throng of onlookers, FDR officially dedicated the Park while standing with one foot in North Carolina and one foot in Tennessee. Golden Globe nominee and Knoxville native, David Keith will be Grand Marshal and will portray Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
The mobile reenactment will lead the 34th Annual 4th of July Midnight Parade at 12:01 a.m. in front of 100,000 patriotic spectators in the early morning hours of Saturday, July 4th, 2009. The Presidential Motorcade will be reproduced in vintage style with period automobiles and costuming along with vintage motorcycles to escort the motorcade. Stretching more than a mile in length, over 100 units will make their way through Gatlinburg, showcasing many elaborately decorated floats, helium balloons, marching bands, equestrian entries and a large contingent of our armed services men & women.
"This will be one of the most patriotic and colorful midnight parades that the City of Gatlinburg has ever produced," according to Special Events Manager George Hawkins, who organized the first Gatlinburg 4th of July parade in 1976 in celebration of America's Bicentennial.
Posted: 6/30/2009 2:15:25 PM
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